detail from Women of Strength mural

detail from Women of Strength mural, fabric and paint, dimensions variable, 2002

The artists who made Women of Strength are all incarcerated at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women. In collaboration with Rachel Williams and Jane Parsons, they designed, sewed and painted a multi-panel mural incorporating the likenesses of Mother Hale, Marilyn Monroe, Mother Theresa, and Nilak Butler, among others.

Art can be a transformative activity for anyone, but it can be especially important for people who live incredibly circumscribed lives inside the walls of a prison. Arts programs give inmates the chance to develop their artistic skills and to feel productive during their period of incarceration. Prisoners who make art or write build self-esteem and self-knowledge and refine their ability to reflect their thoughts and emotions through images or the written word.

This project was funded by the Iowa Arts council and is permanently exhibited in Unit 9 at the ICIW.

This page was first displayed
on September 24, 2004

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